Joshua Hale Fialkov

Purveyor of sheer awesomeness.

Joshua Hale Fialkov is the Harvey, Eisner, and Emmy Award nominated writer of graphic novels, animation, video games, film, and television, including:

THE LIFE AFTER, THE BUNKER, PUNKS, ELK'S RUN, TUMOR, ECHOES, KING, PACIFIC RIM, THE ULTIMATES, I, VAMPIRE, and JEFF STEINBERG CHAMPION OF EARTH. He's also written for NBC's CHICAGO MED and SYFY's upcoming INCORPORATED.

Photograph by Heidi Ryder

The Lone and Level Sand - Comic Con Reviews

First up from my Comic Con stash is The Lone and Level Sand by A. David Lewis, mpMann, and Jennifer Rodgers. I read the book in it's first printing, which was softcover, black and white, and published by ADL's Caption Box comics. I enjoyed it in that form, but, I felt the grayscale art wasn't quite right, and the lettering wasn't top notch.

This new version by Archaia Studio Press is positively breath-taking. The colors make the art pop, the production is amazing, the redone lettering and general book design makes the book the complete package it always deserved to be.

The book is a thoroughly researched retelling of the story of Moses and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, as seen in that one Charlton Heston movie. The big difference is that the book is told from a historical perspective, and more importantly, from Pharoah's point of view. It comes of as an even-handed portrait of a man who while certainly a villain, had quite a bit more going on then was ever really addressed in that big leather bound scroll they kept up in the daius until trotting it around the shul on Saturday mornings.

Probably the biggest suprise for me about the book and it's reception is how little flack ADL got for doing the angle he did. Despite the thoughtful and delicate way he handles what to just about 2/3rds of the world would be blasphemy, the knee jerk reaction (and this even to my lapsed Jewish self) is "What the fuck do I need to feel bad for Pharoah for?" Well, you don't. He obviously had a choice and he made the wrong one.

The use of religious mysticism versus practical logic is pretty brilliant and reminiscent of the work done in Age of Bronze, another thoroughly researched look at a time period best known for portrayal in an Epic Poem or two.

Anyways, LaLS is really a wonderful piece of literature that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves, so, do yourself (and my buddy ADL) a favor and pick it up. It's dirt cheap on Amazon and it's thus far my favorite Graphic Novel of the year.

Oh, and it's up for a Harvey Award or two, so make sure to vote for it if you're eligible to vote. (And while you're at it.... there's this other obscure indie book up for... eh, forget it. Just vote for Bendis or Brubaker and break my little heart.)

Lone and Level Sands. Go. Buy it.